Legacy applications – The problems

Legacy applications – The problems

In the workplace it is common practice for us all to have our favourite set of tools and ways of doing things, but those software products that you have placed your faith in every day to allow you to complete your work as fast and to the best standard as possible, unfortunately, will get to a stage where they need to be replaced with newer versions or have been taken off the market completely due their age.

There may be a time that you feel is best for moving forward and taking your business to the next level – however, whenever that is, it won’t be possible if you have no way of advancing from the outdated application or database in which your entire business resides.

The future success of your organisation may suffer should you continue to use applications that you know to be deemed as approaching, or already at, the ‘end of life’, especially as this means the vendor is either about to, or already has, stopped providing support and updates and is beginning to phase them out.

However, there are ways to remedy this. In this pair of blog articles we are to explore what Legacy Applications are, what makes them become legacy, and what the operational and technical challenges are that arise from using them.

Legacy Applications – what are they?
A Legacy Application is a system that has real purpose in the everyday functionality of your organisation but it uses outdated technology to do so.

Your Legacy Applications will quite literally leave a Legacy behind when they are finally laid to rest but that isn’t quite why they are called that. Legacy in computing means old technology – a dated computer system, application, or IT infrastructure that is still in use and serves a purpose but is widely known to be outdated and superseded.

Many ask the same question – “it works so why is it a legacy application?” We are going to answer that now.

Applications can become ‘Legacy’ in a variety of different ways.

When the operating system vendor ceases support
It is often the case that a software programme that is designed to only operate on a specific operating system version becomes a Legacy application. The reason this happens is because the operating system or infrastructure the application resides within may no longer have support.

When you have chosen not to upgrade
Understandably, when things are going well businesses don’t want anything to change and therefore when the latest version comes out it gets ignored. It is common for programmes (such as Sage, for example) to undergo costly, frequent updates – this then leads to businesses not upgrading it meaning that they are essentially using a legacy application that is not as equipped or capable of effectively carrying out its purpose.

When there is no newer version available
Sometimes – as unfortunate as it is – a software vendor simply stops operating, or perhaps not the entire vendor but an app that is essential to the running of your business. This could be for a variety of reasons - perhaps your business found use where the majority couldn’t or it wasn’t financially viable for them to continue supporting it.

The app needs continued support from the vendor; otherwise it will not be secure or not able to move forward at all - but will simply become stuck in time.

Legacy applications can easily exist in your organisation without your knowledge, but you should check and map out a plan to move your business forward with modern supported applications.

In the following article we will explore the operational and technical challenges of using Legacy applications.

Ensuring the effective use of technology
BCNS make business easier and more cost-effective in guaranteeing that you and your team are always connected to each other and your clients. Our team of experts will assist you throughout the transition to be sure you achieve exactly what you desire – at the same time we can reduce your expenses and improve your security as well as performance! Contact us now and find out how we can help you with your business communications and move into a more productive future.